419 Tasting Notes

70
drank Peppermint Tea by ASDA
419 tasting notes

Sipdown!

Had the last bag of this hot, and I regret it already. It was just fine, but every single mouthful had me wishing it was iced. Minty herbals are just meant to be iced, in my opinion.

Can’t say I’m sad to see this go – I will look for a mint herbal to fill my gap for the summer, but this will most probably not be it.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Anna

I added a raspberry mint herbal to the swap box. =)

Nattie

Thanks, Anna! (:

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62
drank Earl Grey by ASDA
419 tasting notes

Sorry I’ve been kinda absent for a couple of days! It’s been a little hectic around here, and I’ve been visiting my partner’s family in Sheffield for a couple of days so have been away from my tea stash. On the plus side, we got to babysit his little brother, who is super cute.

I actually took my Sherlock fandom sampler away with me, and had a few of those that I hadn’t had in a while, but I thought I should review this before I forget as it isn’t mine, and I want to try to log all of the teas that I try, so my own can wait til later.

Drank with sugar and milk as a breakfast drink, and made for me by my non-tea-drinking partner. This was a very pleasant morning earl grey, and one which I would happily drink again, although I wouldn’t actively seek it out. It tastes pretty much as described – a black tea, with a light bergamot aroma. The bergamot is definitely light, and actually maybe even a little too light for my tastes/expectations (last time I was there I had Clippers Earl Grey, which was WAY better than I expect from a basic bagged earl grey) but overall a good way to start the day.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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50
drank PG Tips by PG Tips
419 tasting notes

Sipdown. Finally!

There’s not too much that can be said about this – a pretty decent English brew. Drank with green milk and a sugar, and chosen because of it’s plainness as my last cup of caffeinated tea for the day. This was the last bag from a box of 160, and has been the last bag for a while – the box went down a lot quicker initially than it did towards the end, as I expanded my range of loose-leaf teas. Actually, by the end of it, I think my partner drank more of it than I did.

Probably won’t purchase again, unless I’m in a pinch money-wise, because I have (in my opinion) some better teabags courtesy of Rington’s which I choose over these if I want a plain cup of bog-standard builder’s brew.

This particular cup was more earthy than I remembered from plain old PG tips, with a tiny bit of a fishy taste at the end of the sip that I don’t much care for. An average cuppa for an average night, and not a sipdown that I’m sad about.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
adagio breeze

Green milk?

Nattie

Yeah, I realised that sounded weird after I posted it haha. By green milk I meant milk with a green lid, i.e. semi-skimmed, or 2% milk.

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94

So basically I love this tea. I have a lot of little candy hearts in mine, as well as rose petals, which just make it really really pretty. I have mentioned this before in another review, but Bluebird teas always seem to be beautiful. It also smells amazing, like fragrant perfume-y chocolate fruitiness. Which is pretty much what it is…
In the cup, the smell mellows out a little but stays mostly the same, only with black tea scent underneath.

What I really love about Bluebird’s black tea base is that it doesn’t seem to get bitter, no matter how much you forget about it. I left the leaves in my cup for over 10 minutes, and there wasn’t even the slightest hint of bitterness, and the oversteep just allowed the other flavours to develop more fully.

Plain – it tastes exactly as it smells, and I mean exactly. Even my partner pointed this out, and he hardly ever even agrees to taste a tea after smelling it. At first, the tea tastes like a strawberry dipped in dark chocolate, and the black tea base just seems to make the whole thing more smooth. The rose flavour really comes through in the aftertaste, and possibly because of the sweetness from the candy hearts, reminded me of powdered Turkish delight. Great for me, as I love dessert teas.

With milk – after adding milk, the flavours became more muted and subtle, but still very definitely present. I think I might prefer it this way, as although I love the flavours, I think they might become a bit cloying after a whole mug of it plain. The chocolate taste is probably the most subdued by the addition of milk, but there’s still a hint of it there.

With milk and sugar – the taste does not change at all by the addition of sugar, it just becomes much much sweeter. In my opinion, the candy hearts make this tea sweet enough to begin with, and adding sugar just made it too sweet for me. I still finished the mug, though, because even over-sweetened, this tea is just so good.

This is definitely a tea that I will be repurchasing from Bluebird, and I might have to make room for it in my next order.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 14 OZ / 400 ML

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87

I have came across so many ‘pumpkin pie’ etc. teas that have no pumpkin in them whatsoever and are actually just a blend of spices. I am soo happy that this one has real pumpkin flavour in it! Dry, the tea smells good. Spicy, but not particularly pumpkin-y. After steeping for three minutes as per recommendations, this tea actually smells exactly like warm pumpkin punch! Absolutely no bitterness, just a smooth, buttery spices pumpkin taste which is just beautiful. Seriously. I didn’t think I would like this as much as I do, but I am definitely a fan! This is a bit of a late note, and I can’t quite remember exactly what it tasted like with different additives, but that just means I have an excuse to sit and drink it all day tomorrow in the name of a better review.
hehehe

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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94
drank Berry Blues by Adagio Teas
419 tasting notes

This is my saddest sipdown yet, and actually the only sipdown which has been of a tea that I’ve had more than a one or two cup sample of. I bought this from Adagio mainly to take me over the £30 window for free shipping, and because it was one of the ingredients of a Sherlock fandom tea which I wanted to try and was unavailable in the UK, so I planned on maybe making my own substitute. As it turned out, I never did that, as it was just too good to blend with other teas.

When I first tried this tea plain, I was very surprised by the powerful flavour, as all fruit-based teas I’ve tried in the past have been disappointingly weak. Not this one. Instead of a diluted summer fruit cordial type colour like I had expected, within a minute of steeping the cup was a deep deep reddy purple, and smelled heavenly. Like blueberry tarts baking in the oven. I haven’t logged this tea before as I went on a bit of a berry blues binge and drank nearly the entire thing in less than a week, before I’d even made my steepster account. When I realised I was down to my last teaspoon, I panicked, and have been hoarding the tiniest amount since, waiting for the appropriate moment. This was not quite the perfect time for it, but I really really wanted it.

Plain, this tea is a little tart, and if you oversteep (which I tend to do a lot, as I have a really crappy concept of time), it is very tart. This is probably due to the hibiscus content, although I don’t seem to have a problem with it as many people seem to. To counteract this, I like to drink it with an added spoon of sugar. Drank this way, it tastes exactly like blueberry jam in the initial sip, but with an almost sour aftertaste that stops it from being overly sweet and balances it out perfectly.

I am currently sitting on my bed, drinking this tea and reminiscing about my childhood – when it snowed in the winter, me and my two cousins would play outside in the snow for hours, and then when we came in, my mam would make us “hot juice” which was basically a cordial drink made with not-quite-boiling water instead of cold, with a spoon of honey in it, to warm us back up. It was my favourite winter treat, and this reminds me of it so much, because even though it doesn’t taste like any of the juices we had in it, it has the same hot, sweet, fruity goodness which I just find so comforting. I am sipping this so slowly, because I know that once it’s gone, that’s it. I was planning on leaving some of it to cool, and see what this is like iced, but I don’t think I can bring myself to. I will miss this tea dearly. My post-8PM tea collection will not be the same without it.

I have already discovered how amazing it feels to click the ‘remove from wishlist’ button on a tea, followed by the ‘add to cupboard’ button, but this is the first time I have clicked them the other way round, and it is so sad :/

I will be making an Adagio order very soon, re-stocking on this and the 9th doctor, and buying myself an ingenuiTEA while I’m at it! Every cloud…

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML
keychange

It’s so lovely to read about someone falling in love with a tea, especially if it brings back the loveliest of memories.

Nattie

I’m glad you enjoyed reading it! I didn’t really expect anyone to, considering the length. I really will miss this tea, though ):

keychange

I love long tasting notes, especially if they aren’t overly technical and are filled with lots of tea love!

Hello.Kiki

I agree- love the notes with background and context!

__Morgana__

Lovely childhood memory.

KittyLovesTea

I have the large version of ingenuiTEA which was one of the first tea makers I had (was given to me by my mother). It works perfectly and a few years down the line I still use it in summer to make iced tea :D I have a feeling you will love yours too.

Nattie

I watched the video on their website and fell in love with it immediately, I absolutely can’t wait to get one. Good to know it stands the test of time! (:

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55

This was a free sample from Bluebird Tea Co. with my order, so thank you very much for the try! The sample came in an adorable fancy teabag, with the bluebird logo printed on.

Looking at the bag, I can’t see a whole lot of maté, it mostly seems to be lemongrass, and smells very lemony, too. Steeping, the lemon smell intensifies and kind of gets sweeter, so that after brewing the tea smells almost like a sherbet lemon sweet to me. It is a very pale infusion, even though I left if for forever.

The overall flavour is of lemongrass, and I can’t really taste the ginger at all, although there’s a nice tingly heat kick at the end which I think is down to the ginger. This was perfect for me, though, as I really do not like ginger at all. I can’t taste any smoke from the Yerba, I don’t think, but I’ve never had it before so I’m not really sure what I’m looking for exactly. I’ve just gotten to the end of the cup, and the last two or three mouthfuls had a weird fishy taste. Ew.

Overall, a nice delicate cup, but not something I would choose to wake me up as it’s just not strong enough.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Peppermint Tea by ASDA
419 tasting notes

I was inexplicably hot tonight, so, rather than settling down with my usual hot caffeine-free nightcap, I decided to flash ice something instead. This was pretty much my only choice, as I didn’t fancy icing a rooibos or chai, and I’ve made a pact not to imbibe caffeine after 8PM. I think it may have been my thirst/heat, but I downed this in a couple of minutes, and it was the perfect choice. Mint is naturally just so refreshing, and it wasn’t so strong it woke me up, just enough to cool me down.

I flash-iced by making a very small glass using boiling water, then topped it up with about 8x that amount in very cold water, them added a couple ice cubes. I definitely prefer it this way than hot, and it will be a perfect drink for the summer.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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46

Okay this is the other tea in my backlog from yesterday, and also kind of a sipdown, seeing as I gave the rest of it away (to my partner, but still).

This was the second ever loose leaf tea I bought, after Whittard’s afternoon earl grey, and I thought I should probably use it as it’s getting on a bit now. I remembered it being light and floral, and a little citrusy, and even though it’s technically a black tea it kind of reminded me of a green earl grey a little. This time, it was a lot more earthy and I’m not sure if the taste has changed or my memory of it is wrong… Anyway, I wasn’t too keen on it this time around, it was a bit too astringent and earthy for my taste, and I didn’t want to add milk or sugar so there wasn’t really much I could do about it. There were little to no floral or citrus notes, although they may have been lingering in the background if I wasn’t in such a hurry to swallow it.

I probably would have enjoyed this more if I had been expecting a deep, earthy flavour, but as it is, I ended up giving the rest of my mug to my partner, who luckily loved it (despite him not really being a tea drinker) and he now has the remaining 2/3 of the pouch, which was going to get thrown away otherwise. One I can remove from my cupboard, although I need a light floral Darjeeling to replace it now!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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29

I’ve been putting off reviewing this tea for a few days, in the hope that it would grow on me. After several cups, I guess it’s time to accept that it hasn’t, and that I’ve found the first tea that I actively dislike (sorry Bluebird Tea!) Out of the five teas I bought from them, this is the only one that isn’t amazing, so I guess they’ve still done pretty well!

I am a huge fan of Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, so obviously I had to try this tea as soon as I saw it. Unfortunately, the dry tea smells nothing like a chocolate orange, but almost exactly like a chocolate orange flavoured alcohol shots drink I bought a year or so back before I stopped drinking. I say unfortunately, because that was possibly the worst drink I’ve had in my life. The smell is very citrusy, with just a hint of sour dark chocolate in the background, but the citrus smell is very artificial and I have a feeling it might be the smell of orange oil. When brewed, the smell becomes more pleasant and smells more of real oranges, although there is an oily sheen on the top of the water which I think comes from the theoretical orange oil.

I forgot to mention, on the plus side, the tea is super pretty. There are chunks of orange rind and little twirly things (I seriously have no idea about the twirly things) that make it really gorgeous to look at, which I’ve found to be a common theme in bluebird teas!

I’ve tried this tea many different ways (plain, with sugar, with honey, with sugar and milk, with honey and milk and as a latte, as well as in a protein shake) and the flavour is kinda similar across the board, which unfortunately means I didn’t like any of them. It tastes like I remembered the alcohol to taste, only hot. Definitely orangey, with a dark chocolate note playing around in the background somewhere, but the orange doesn’t really taste fruity, I’m sorry if that doesn’t really make sense, but I was expecting a sort of warming, tangy marmalade sort of orange, but instead it tastes artificial, which I sad ‘cause there are definitely chunks of real orange in it! Also when brewed, the tea is kind of a browny-pinky colour, which I found odd. Not sure what to say about that, so I’ll just leave it there…

Not for me, I’m sorry Bluebird, but I’m sure there are some people out there who would enjoy this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 230 ML
Cavocorax

I remember being disappointed with this as well. Chocolate in tea is such a hard thing to do right…

Nattie

Looking at the reviews I think a few people have been, it’s just disappointing because I was so looking forward to this!
It really is, but the frustrating thing is that I have ‘Love Potion’ from bluebird, and they have the chocolate in that spot on. I think the combination of chocolate with orange is incredibly hard to get right, I might have to live with the knowledge that I’m just not going to find a good chocolate orange tea ):

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Bio

I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years.

Black teas make up the majority of my collection, but I am expanding my horizons and trying to include a variety of other teas, too. Flavoured blacks are my favourites, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 22 year old English Literature sort-of-graduate and temporary bartender. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching (self-diagnosed geek and Netflix addict), football/soccer (I am a lifelong supporter of Sunderland AFC) and listening to classic rock.

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.

I also tend to ramble on a bit.

Location

South Shields, UK

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